Karaka's Clean Sweep of HK Triple Crown   28 May 2012

The talented stayer Liberator has taken the biggest race victory of his career beating fellow Karaka graduate Ambitious Dragon in the final leg of Hong Kong's Triple Crown, the HK$8 million HK-1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin last night.

With Hong Kong's Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) having won the first two legs of the Triple Crown - the HK-1 Stewards' Cup (1600m) and the HK-1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) - it was Liberator who claimed race honours in the final leg giving Karaka graduates a clean sweep in the prestigious Triple Crown.

Ridden by jockey Weichong Marwing, the four-year-old gelding Liberator (Encosta de Lago x Miss Helga) raced close to the pace in the 2400 metre feature, with Ambitious Dragon (Pins) racing at the back of the field.

Liberator Chater Cup
Liberator races away to give Karaka a clean sweep of Hong Kong's Triple Crown. Photo courtesy of the HKJC.
After increasing the tempo and contesting the lead at the 800 metre mark, Liberator took control of the race 600 metres from home and kicked clear in the straight, with a brilliant performance holding off the fast finishing Ambitious Dragon to win by a length-and-a-half.

"He has improved so much and the race just panned out so well for him because if he sits on the outside of a horse he's at his best," said Liberator's trainer David Ferraris.

"If he can sit on a horse's girth and travel comfortably, he's hard to run down. I knew when he kicked hard like that the rest would have to pick up their feet because he's an out and out stayer. It was a very good move from Marwing because if they had kept up the slow tempo they would have out sprinted us."

Liberator was purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from Gordon Cunningham's Curraghmore Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Karaka Premier Sale for $360,000. He was then offered at the 2009 Hong Kong International Sale where the son of Encosta de Lago was purchased by Siu Kim Sun Martin for HK$5 million.

"Most of these nice horses are bought from overseas trainers but it's nice to bring one up from scratch. He will have a well-earned rest now and we will aim him at the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December," said Ferraris.

Bred by Caradale Pty Ltd, Liberator is raced by the 06/07 David Ferraris Trainer Syndicate and the four-year-old's record now stands at 23 starts for 5 wins and seven placings for over $1.3 million in stakes.

Ambitious Dragon was looking to become just the second horse to win all three legs of the Triple Crown, a feat accomplished only by River Verdon (Be My Native) in 1994.

His wins in the first two legs were outstanding performances and his second placing last night was every bit up to the high standard that has become expected from the reigning Horse of the Year.

Untested over 2400 metres, the race was unchartered territory for Ambitious Dragon and his trainer Tony Millard was very proud of the five-year-old's performance.

"He was very gallant in defeat and I couldn't be happier with him. He just got found out by a top-class ride from Marwing."

Bred by Mr Pat Lowry, Ambitious Dragon was offered by Belvedere Farm at the 2008 Karaka Select Sale and has won 10 of his 20 starts for over NZ$6.3 million in stakes.

New Zealand bred horses and Karaka graduates were to the fore last night at Sha Tin winning five races on the 11-race card.

Scarlett Camellia (Spartacus) continued his impressive start he has made in Hong Kong. Winning his only race last season for trainer Danny Shum, the four-year-old has won three of his six starts this season including last night's Class 3 Oriental Express Handicap (1600m).

Mega Castle (Brilliance) took his second win of the season for trainer Manfred Man in the Class 5 Quicken Away Handicap (1600m), while Isitide (Istidaad) was successful for trainer Andreas Schutz in the Class 4 River Verdon Handicap, also over a mile, bringing up his first win in Hong Kong.

The John Size trained Real Specialist (Storming Home) is another that is making his way through the grades. From 10 starts the four-year-old has won five races including the Class 2 Viva Pataca Handicap (1800m) last night by an impressive two-and-a-quarter-lengths.

(NZ Bloodstock)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Singapore-NZ Defence relationship celebrated

18 Jan 2017 News
16 JANUARY, 2017New Zealand and Singapore’s Defence Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Dr Ng Eng Hen today observed Exercise Thunder... more

Earthquake hit farmers to be offered movable homes

18 Jan 2017 News
18 JANUARY, 2017Twenty temporary housing units at the Rawhiti Domain used to support families through the Christchurch earthquakes are... more

Business

Korean FTA delivers new round of tariff cuts

18 Jan 2017 Business News
8 JANUARY, 2017More local businesses looking to expand into Korea will benefit from the latest round of tariff reductions under the... more

Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy

26 Dec 2016 Business News
The New Zealand economy continued to grow solidly in the September quarter, posting a higher than expected 1.1 per cent growth rate... more

Living

3rd Position, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES more

Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016

14 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
The Arts Foundation Next generation of internationally acclaimed talent among the Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016Under ... more

Property

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector

11 Nov 2016 Property By Paul McBeth
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 10 November 2016 04:04 PM RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector By Paul ... more

Migration

Good progress on investment attraction strategy

8 Dec 2016 Migration
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed news that New Zealand is attracting a higher level of quality international... more

Changes to Financial Markets Conduct Act impact UK pension transfers

1 Nov 2016 Migration
New Zealand Government Hon Paul GoldsmithMinister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 1 November 2016 Changes to Financial Markets... more

Travel

Tourism spending strong ahead of summer season

18 Jan 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 JANUARY, 2017Tourism spending continued to grow throughout most regions in the year to November 2016, providing a solid base ahead... more

Work on $700m Puhoi road underway

8 Dec 2016 Travel & Tourism
Hon. Simon Bridges 8 December, 2016 Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have turned the sod on th... more

Sport

Counties Manukau claim double victories at 2017 Bayleys National Sevens

18 Jan 2017 Rugby
15 January 2017 Counties Manukau are national sevens rugby champions.  In a stunning double effort, Counties Manukau have been... more

WHITE FERNS in form as competitions heat up

18 Jan 2017 Cricket
Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 in International NewsNew Zealand’s WHITE FERNS are already showing Australia how it’s... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

High Commissioner to India announced

8 Dec 2016 Appointments
Hon. Murray McCully 7 December, 2016 High Commissioner to India announced Foreign Minister Murray McCully today... more

Acting District Court Judge appointed

11 Nov 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher FinlaysonAttorney-General 11 November 2016 Acting District Court Judge appointed Wellington... more

Recruitment

NZ Government accepts recommendations on pay equity

8 Dec 2016 Recruitment
Hon. Paula Bennett,  Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Hon. Louise Upston 24 November, 2016 The Government will update the Equa... more

Fisher Funds hunts for new head to replace founder

2 Nov 2016 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Tuesday 01 November 2016 04:42 PM Fisher Funds hunts for new head to replace founder Carmel Fisher By Paul ... more

s